Tennis legend Martina Navratilova was officially removed Wednesday from the advisory board of a prominent LBGTQ organization after making comments about transgender athletes.
Navratilova released an op-ed in The Sunday Times on Feb. 17 discussing her opinion on why transgender athletes should not be able to compete against female athletes. She wrote that having men compete as women is unfair because of the physical advantage.
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Thank you @martinanavratilova for using your voice to highlight the serious issue of male-born trans athletes competing in female sports. Current rules do not deliver the fair and meaningful competition that women need. Free and open discussion is crucial. Come to the #Fairplayforwomen website for more information on the issues. Fair and meaningful competition is only delivered by eligibility rules underpinned by robust science and clear policy making. Link in bio. #HandsOffMyRights #stopsexselfID #womensrights #protectfemalesports #FPFW #ChooseReality #CommonSense #ThinkAboutIt #Fairplayforwomen #womeninsport #femalesports #womenstennis #womenintennis #martinanavratilova #tennis #trans #womenssports #tennis???? #cycling #womenscycling #masters #fairness #womenscycle #femalecycling #rachelmckinnon
Athlete Ally announced in a statement Feb. 20 that Navratilova would be removed as an ambassador and from the advisory board immediately. The organization stated the comments made by the tennis legend were “transphobic” and based on a misunderstanding of science.
Navratilova has been outspoken on this issue before. Back in October, she got into an argument with transgender cyclist Rachel McKinnon after McKinnon became the first transgender woman to win the Masters Track Championship. Jennifer Wagner-Assali accused McKinnon of only winning because she had an unfair advantage. (RELATED: Biological Male Wins World Championship In Women’s Cycling)
Navratilova backed Wagner-Assali then and spent months researching the topic. The op-ed was her response to the backlash she received for her original comments.
Apparently, transgender women are only allowed to compete if they keep their testosterone levels below a certain level for 12 months. Navratilova claims this isn’t enough to make it fair because men develop other things differently such as muscle and bone density.
Navratilova has yet to comment on Athlete Ally’s decision to drop her from the board.